As you progress with your shooting you will hear a vast array of new terminology spoken, and it is very likely that you will hear people talking about the ‘CPSA’. The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association is the national governing body of Clay Shooting, and along with setting regulations for the sport, they manage individuals’ shooting scores/statistics from competitions on a national database. They estimate that 25,000 clay shooters in the UK are registered with the CPSA as members, and although you don’t have to be a member to shoot a registered competition, there are definitely some benefits to becoming a member.
I’ve briefly listed some of the reasons you might want to join the CPSA below
- The ability to compete in county, regional, national and international competitions through a classification system
- A members-only magazine 10 times a year called ‘Pull!’ and membership card/badge
- £10 Million civil liability insurance cover for all shooting sports and £30,000 Personal Accident cover
- Legal expenses insurance for shotgun certificate revocation and renewal issues
- Marksman Badges for 25, 50, 75 and 100 Straight in most discipline
- Free advice service to all members, shoot organisers and affiliated clubs of all size
- Gain a team place for your county, region or country – even the Olympic Game
- Assistance with planning, noise and shotgun certificate problem
- A variety of coaching schemes & courses
- Discounts for some venues such as Warwick Castle, Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds.
For me, a big advantage of being a CPSA member is the ability to track the scores I have obtained from different competitions and to see where I rank against other shooters in my county. On the CPSA website there is a member’s area that displays this information. As a member, I can access a list of all the competitions I have entered with the scores, dates and locations, along with my current average – which obviously changes as I put in the odd good score, and very often a not so good one!
You will also see what ‘class’ you are currently in. CPSA divides all shooters into AA, A, B or C class. Below is an example of how the CPSA creates the different classes and the cut off percentages. In the discipline of English Sporting (ESP) you will need to shoot 300 targets before you can apply for a temporary classification. This temporary classification will then be replaced automatically by a classification from the normal classification procedure on either the 1st of June or the 1st of December.
Though everyone will shoot the same targets each competition, being in a specific class means you have the chance of competing with people of equal ability. Most shooting grounds will give out prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each class on a competition day, and some also give out prizes for ladies’ class too. Happy days!
As I said earlier in the post, you don’t have to be a CPSA member to shoot a competition. But hopefully the benefits of becoming a member are a little clearer. I’m looking forward to telling you about my first CPSA competition experience in the next blog and what you should expect too!
Coming next – I’m ready to shoot my first CPSA competition, what do I do?